“Hey, look over here!”
You just launched a new website—congrats are in order! (Golf claps, whistles, atta-boys, and general hoopla ensue.)
Now, let me ask you: Who’s gonna see it? (Crickets).
It really will be “crickets” all around your new website unless you take steps to tell people it’s there. Now the work really begins.
Unlike in the movie “Field of Dreams,” (shout-out baseball movie fans), you can’t simply build something and expect that they’ll come—not unless you lead them, coax them or send them there. Don’t worry, though, I’ve got you, and we’re not going to let your website sit and be beautiful all alone.
Start with these steps to draw a crowd:
Announce it on social. “Yo, lookie here! We have a new website, and it’s giving new car smell—check this baby out!” Like that, but in your own brand’s language. Use every social media platform you have to get your site noticed, this is not the time to be shy.
“Hey, have you seen our new blog? We have an exciting announcement!” Send ‘em there.
“Do you know the faces behind our organization? Meet our people.” Send ‘em there.
“Check out our new resource section and webinar page!” Send ‘em there.
You can create one cool graphic and change up the copy or language for each social post, then share links all over your accounts, hooking your followers up with a direct path to your brand spankin’ new website. Free organic website traffic is amazing. But be forewarned: Facebook and Instagram only show your organic (nonpaid) posts to about 1%-5% of your audience, depending on number of followers.
There’s a ton of organic content being created by everyone and their dogs (and cats—lots of cats) and not enough room—so if you have the budget, set aside some money and boost your social posts to get them seen by a broader audience.
Send an email with your big announcement. Maybe you refreshed your brand. Or added new functionality and features. Or maybe you just needed a better backend with a content management system that you can actually manage yourself. Whatever your reason, a new website deserves to be celebrated—and it’s a great motivator to get your audience to re-engage with you, if they’ve become a bit disconnected.
Plan to send an announcement email, highlighting the great new features/brand refresh/new pages/whatever your “thing” is as an initial message, then follow that up a week or two later with a reminder. You can add a third email for the week following with an incentive to visit for those who still haven’t checked out your new online digs—a percent-off coupon or a promo code for a purchase. While you don’t want to bug people with too-frequent emails, you also don’t want to assume that they read every message they get—and a new website launch is kind of a big deal, so it’s worth a few touchpoints.
If you have questions about how to execute a campaign like this via email marketing, our marketing experts would be happy to help you.
Pro tip: If your website is launching, say, this Wednesday, maybe wait for a week or so to make your big announcement (this goes for social posts, too). That gives you time to be sure your website is up and running smoothly, any bugs are squashed, all your content is uploaded and the links are all working properly. Better to be safe than sorry, and you have nothing to lose by waiting a few days.
Plan for content updates now (seriously, now—not in six months). Dude, we get it—populating a new website with content can be a ton of work. Been there, done that, and have the T-shirt to prove it. We empathize. Once you’ve launched a website, it’s easy to feel like, “I’m done, I’m over it, I cannot write another word.” Here’s the thing though: New content is SEO gold. Google loves fresh content and its algorithm rewards it. So, it’s good to have a content plan and calendar in place when you launch.
Maybe you’ll have a blog that gets updated weekly by a team of people who are willing to write for it (start recruiting now). Also, using guest bloggers is a great way to boost your content production.
Maybe you’ll have landing pages that can be updated based on fundraising campaigns or seasonal events or special promotions or whatever is happening in your industry space or nonprofit at any given time.
Maybe you’ll use video (people love it!) as a way to introduce your brand to your new visitors, and that’s something you can regularly update because you have an excellent content creator on your staff who loves that kind of stuff.
Whatever you do, do it consistently. Updating your content regularly tells your online visitors that someone is, indeed, minding the shop, so to speak—and it tells Google that you care about providing people with valuable content, not just keyword-stuffed babble. Plus, new website content gives you something to post about on social, which creates more drivers to your site.
Side note: I just mentioned keywords, which are very important and also help you get on the good side of Google’s search algorithm. They have more to do with SEO than promoting your new website, so we won’t talk about them much here, but if you’d like to know more about keywords and SEO optimization, we have some good stuff for you to read here.
Send out a creative direct mail piece. One good thing that came out of the pandemic: QR codes finally took off! The beloved QR code became popular, and now they’re having a hay day, helping brands connect their offline worlds with their online presence. An odd-shaped or creative direct mail piece is the perfect way to make a “new website” announcement, grab your audience’s attention and drive them online to check out your new home (just make sure it’s mobile-friendly or yikes!).
Have a website launch party. I’m honestly always looking for a reason to throw a shindig, but this really does happen to be a legit one. Reserve a private room at a local restaurant, host a get-together at your office space, or even throw a virtual party on Zoom—this is a big deal, and your new website deserves to be celebrated. This is mostly an internal celebration with you and your team, but you can also invite vendors, customers, supporters or business partners to stop by for appies and a beverage to toast to your new online home. A launch party like this can serve several purposes:
- It boosts company morale and recognizes the people who worked hard to make your website launch happen.
- Break out the phones—it gives you photo and video opportunities, which are great for social posts and even emails.
- It can create buzz in your community, especially if you extend an invite to others outside your team.
- It holds everyone accountable to getting loose ends tied up and that website launched! If you have a party date on the books, nobody is going to want to be the party pooper who kept the website from actually going live before said date.
Once your website is launched and live, this is hugely important: Monitor its progress. Check Google Analytics often to make sure that people are finding your website. Which pages are most visited? Where are visitors coming from? What’s your bounce rate? Analytics will tell you what’s working and what’s not so you can make adjustments and updates to optimize your website content for better results.
This is a lot. But it’s critically important stuff, because your website is the face of your org or business and your most important marketing hub, so you want to generate as much traffic to it, if possible.
If you feel a little overwhelmed or unsure if you’ve got all your online ducks in a row, remember that I said “we’ve got you.” You don’t have to tackle this all alone—our website experts can help you with ideas on how to promote your new website.